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My dissertation consists of an introduction, background, literature review, methods/research design section, and a chapter for every aspect of a policy issue that I'm addressing. My theoretical framework states how I harness the literature that I summarize to my particular research problem. I thus feel like this could thus go in the lit review or as part of the research design.

I know it seems silly, but any suggestions would be great. I'm one of "those" people who needs a sense of structure (however illusory) to proceed on good faith.

Also, I've tried to search for examples in other dissertations, but it seems that a lot of work in my area these days goes straight to the analysis and primary research.

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A different structure works for different manuscripts. However, the theoretical framework typically follows after the introduction and the literature review. The review should motivate the research question and the methodological and theoretical approach. The latter is then explained in the theory chapter, the former in a subsequent methodological chapter or subchapter. The methods chapter then bridges the theoretical and the empirical part of your study:

  • intro

  • review

  • theory

  • methods

  • empirics 1-n

  • analysis/discussion

  • conclusion

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